Published: Thu, June 08, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Thiem stuns Djokovic at French Open

The 30-year-old Serb crashed out of the French Open where he was the defending champion in a stunning 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0 quarter-final loss to Dominic Thiem.

The disappointing exit at Rolland-Garros comes one year after Djokovic reached the pinnacle of tennis, winning the French Open in 2016 to win four straight majors and capture a Grand Slam.

His reward: a meeting with nine-time champion Rafael Nadal, who advanced to his tenth French Open semi-final when fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta retired trailing 6-2, 2-0.

No man has ever beaten Djokovic and Nadal back-to-back and won a grand slam, and even if Thiem were to get past the Spaniard, he would still have to defeat either former champion Stan Wawrinka or three-time grand slam victor Andy Murray in the final.

Murray struggled early against Japanese star Kei Nishikori, dropping the first set 2-6 before coming back strongly to take the next three sets 6-1, 7-6, 6-1.

The good news for India is that seventh seeds Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada reached the mixed doubles final, beating third seeds A. Hlavackova of Czech Republic E. Roger-Vasselin of France 7-5, 6-3 in a semi-final match.

The other semifinal match will pit top-ranked Andy Murray against 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka.

The 15-year-old Chinese youngster Wang Xinyu also crashed out from the tournament with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 loss to Whitney Osuigwe in the girls' singles third round. "I think it was never the case against him before".

And it didn't even come in the third set, when Djokovic pathetically quit on the match, getting bageled to cap off a dismal 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-0 quarter-final defeat.

The last two women's quarterfinals are also on the schedule: Karolina Pliskova against Caroline Garcia, and Simona Halep against Elina Svitolina.

Certainly, Djokovic is unlikely to be away from the sport for long and usually restricts himself to the practice courts anyway between Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Murray has dropped a total of three sets through five matches; Wawrinka, Nadal and Thiem have won every set they've played so far.

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"Obviously I always expect a lot from myself, but it's a fact I'm not playing close to my best".

The second-seeded Djokovic had two set points in the opener but couldn't convert either. Nadal said. "I only care that I am in the semifinals".

His shock quarter-final victory was his first in six meetings with the 12-time major victor.

The American said Djokovic's decision to work with so-called "guru" Pepe Imaz contributed to his shock defeat.

Rafael Nadal warned of the threat presented by Dominic Thiem's "huge potential" ahead of their clash for a place in Sunday's French Open final.

The underdog called for a trainer at the end of the first set and left the court for treatment as Nadal tried to keep warm in brisk conditions on his courtside chair.

After the match, Djokovic sounded puzzled as to how to get out of his current slump.

Obviously troubled by injury, Carreno Busta simply wasn't able to generate sufficient power off the ground to trouble Nadal.

This will be Nadal's 10th trip to the French Open semifinals.

Wawrinka improved to 12-2 career against Cilic.

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